India is the world’s largest democracy and a democracy’s spirit and strength lies in its diversity and inclusive nature. The Indian Constitution recognizes every caste, colour, community and religion and does not give any one group precedence over the other. However, very deftly our founding fathers had left the LGBTQ community out of this conception of equality because for them the law is neither equal nor fair. Section 377 is a law that criminalizes consensual sex between homosexuals and the transgender community is still looked with disdain and mockery. The draconian law is based on the Victorian diktats and does not hold true to Indian mentality and culture where we have Gods taking up female forms such as Vishnu takes the form of Mohini or Lord Shiva is seen as Ardhanarishwar. However, we still are being governed by this law which time and again has been protested against.
Vicks’ new advertisement, which has gone viral and garnered more than 4.6 lakh views within 4 hours of its online release, is the poignant story of Gauri Sawant, a transgender. Gauri Sawant fought against all odds and raised and adopted an orphaned child as her own. Neeraj Ghaywan, the critically acclaimed director of Masaan directed the advertisement. Neeraj Ghaywan shared the ad on his Twitter with the words, “Extremely chuffed to share this commercial I directed for #Vicks. Gayatri & Gauri Sawant’s true story #TouchOfCare.” The video is from the point-of-view of the girl who is fondly remembering about her mother as she travels in a bus. She divulges the fact that her “mummy” is not her biological mother but someone who loves her unconditionally and with whom she feels safe.
Noted filmmaker Karan Johar also took to Twitter to appreciate Neeraj Ghaywan’s direction and the subject of the ad. Ka BodyScapes, Aligarh, Kapoor and Sons: Indian movies that show LGBT issues realistically
Watch the video of the advertisement here and get inspired to love and accept all.
The advertisement introduces to us Gauri Sawant a transgender mother and an activist for LGBTQ rights, whose real life trials and tribulations inspired the company and the makers to make this ad. The ending line of the video is equally gripping when the daughter Gayatri says that inspite of her mother’s dream of her becoming a doctor she will become a lawyer so that she can fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ community. Let’s hope that the society and laws change before she grows up and has to take up the mantle.